“Black Hole” in Auglaize County filled by storm spotters

WAPAKONETA, Ohio (WDTN) – When severe weather comes, Troy Anderson could very well be the hardest working man in Auglaize County.

The director for the county’s EMA can be found out on the road or behind his computer trying to track a storm.

He keeps a watchful eye when storms roll through which can be a hard job when looking at the three radars covering much of the Miami Valley.

Auglaize County can sometimes fall out of reach.

“It’s at the outer bounds of the radar,” said Troy Anderson, director for the Auglaize County Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “There is a coverage there but we’re at the very outer bounds of those radars.”

Those three radars, used by the National Weather Service and Auglaize County, are found in Wilmington, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; and Indianapolis, Indiana.

When storms pass over the area, it can be hard to determine exactly what is happening.

“We’ve had a couple, before my time coming in, where we had severe storms come through and we really didn’t get the notification,” said Anderson. “Or we did get a notification. The alarms went off or the warning sirens went off and we didn’t have a funnel or a tornado come through.”

So the county relies on storm spotters.

About 15 volunteers are called in to help keep an eye on any storm to relay any information.

Those are the extra set of eyes Anderson says he will never replace with technology.

“A lot of the safety in that starts at home,” said Anderson. “Utilizing our people and they’re willing work and willing to help out the neighbors. These guys are out there. If we can provide the information and a little bit more protection to enhance what we’re seeing on radar at no cost, then that is what we are going to do.”

Auglaize County Homeland Security and Emergency Management has been looking at using the weather radar from Dayton International Airport over the past two years.

This year will be the first time officials will be incorporating that radar 100 percent with weather coverage.

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